Port Republic once a thriving river town has attracted Native people, early pioneers, and Civil War generals. The museum interpretes the history of the village.
The Port Republic Museum is housed in the Frank Kemper House, also known as the Turner Ashby House. This large, two story Federal style frame was built in the 1830s and served intially as a residence, then as an office, an inn and tavern and now a museum. Each of the museum’s rooms has an interpretive theme.
The River Room illustrates the history of Port Republic as a typical colonial riverport from its settlement in the mid-1700’s to its peak as a major river port and booming industrial town when fleets of barges set off for Harper’s Ferry or Baltimore.
The Turner Ashby Room describes Port Republic as the site of the last days of Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign, including the death of General Turner Ashby, Jackson’s narrow escape during an invasion of the village, and the battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic.
The Keeping Room is used to interpret the town’s history since the Civil War. Exhibits show the cultural development of Port Republic from an industrial village to a residential community as a result of the ravages of war and floods and the growth of roads and railroads.
The Discovery Room houses materials for research and provides for visitors’ orientation. The museum also has Sales Corner that includes books, maps, Stonewall’s Prayer Tree pens and more.
The Village of Port Republic has been placed with the Virginia Landmarks Commission and the National Register of Historic Places. Vistors can take in its beauty and history with a self-guided walking tour. There are six interpretive signs throughout the village and twenty-nine sites identified in the tour.
Regular hours are Sundays from 1:30 – 4:00 pm from April to October. (Closed November-March) Other hours by appointment.
Group tours available by appointment.
Admission Fee/Ticket Price:
$2 donation suggested.